RTTNews - UK manufacturing sector expanded for the first time since March 2008, a report from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply and Markit Economics showed Monday.

Th CIPS/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index or PMI rose to 50.8 in July from an upwardly revised 47.4 in June. Economists had expected the index to rise to 47.7. This was the first time the index climbed above 50 since March 2008.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while a reading below 50 signals a contraction.

Manufacturing production rose for the second successive month and strongest since December 2007, while new orders rose for the first time since March 2008 at its fastest pace in twenty months.

Rob Dobson, Senior Economist at Markit said, The base of the recovery remains broad, which should help with sustaining gains into Q4.

That said, employment in the sector continued to drop, falling for the 15th month in a row. The rate of reduction continued to ease and was the least severe since June 2008, the report said.

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